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Colombia Replaces Army Head Over Hazing Scandal


Colombia's president has replaced the commander of the army, following a hazing incident in which 21 soldiers were allegedly abused.

A statement from President Alvaro Uribe's office said that Commander General Reinaldo Castellanos stepped down Tuesday and will be replaced by General Mario Montoya.

The hazing incident became known after the magazine Semana published a report Sunday, saying 21 young recruits were beaten, branded, sexually assaulted and forced to eat cow dung by their superiors during a survival exercise in late January.

Monday, President Uribe spoke out angrily on television, deploring the incident and saying army officers should have reported the abuse immediately.

An investigation is under way.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.